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Unwrapping an ancient Egyptian mummy using x-rays

Hughes, Stephen W. (2010) Unwrapping an ancient Egyptian mummy using x-rays. Physics Education, 45(3), pp. 235-242.

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Abstract

This article describes a project to unwrap an ancient Egyptian mummy using X-ray computed tomography (CT). About 600 X-ray CT images were obtained through the mummified body of a female named Tjetmutjengebtiu (or Jeni for short), who was a singer in the great temple of Karnak in Egypt during the 22nd dynasty (c. 945-715 BC). The X-ray CT images reveal details of the remains of body organs, wrappings and jewellery. 3D reconstructions of Jeni’s teeth suggest that she was probably only around 20 years old when she died, although the cause of death cannot be ascertained from the CT scans. The CT images were used to build a 3D model of Jeni’s head which enabled an artist to paint a picture of what Jeni may have looked like during life. A PowerPoint presentation and movie clips are provided as supplementary material that may be useful for teaching.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 31522
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: mummies, x-ray, computed tomography, Egypt, embalming, 3D reconstruction, british museum, St. Thomas' Hospital, facial reconstruction
DOI: 10.1088/0031-9120/45/3/002
ISSN: 1361-6552
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY (210000) > ARCHAEOLOGY (210100) > Archaeological Science (210102)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Schools > Physics
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd.
Deposited On: 10 May 2010 08:24
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 00:15

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